Written by: Urša Strehar Benčina, artist-trainer
Every workshop experience is different and no matter how many groups I facilitated, and how many times I have used or introduced any game, it is an inspiring and magical moment when something new arises, when participants are transformed and when collective experience awakes and connects all the group members. This time, the game changer was the exercise “Obstacles”.
The game was taken on a whole other level by teachers using their personal obstacles to inspire them (being too busy, not allowing themselves to be angry, feeling of not being a good enough parent, etc.) and really feeling and embodying them. The whole room was connected in the miracle that can only happen with live performances - the feeling which is indescribable, it can only be felt. The feeling which reveals the power of creation, of doing something with one’s body, which inevitably affects all other bodies in the space. The feeling that something is opening inside the performer, that opens the audience as well and resonates with their own experiences, thoughts, emotions. The feeling of not holding back, feeling and being vulnerable, but not entirely personal and private (so, using what we know and feel, but transforming it into artistic form). The feeling of individual experience of all, performers and the audience (since the stories the audience observed were actually theirs, the audience always feels the gaps with their own material, with their own life experience and situations) was intertwining with collective experience…
… To give the pedagogues (and each other) the space to empty their cup and fill it again, to support the ones that usually offer all the support, to lift them up, encourage them, make them feel brave and vulnerable enough to share themselves and to keep them knowing that they are enough, that we are here to learn, but even more we are here (in the world, really) to be - to be present, to feel, to be together, to create together and to just be our imperfect selves gloriously.. - this is an incredible honor and an important underlining goal of our workshops (along with learning how to include free movement in our pedagogical work of course). I am incredibly grateful for Creative Europe’s support of this project and the possibility of teaching and learning experiences like this.